The Article Galaxy Gadget Store, which launched in early 2019, offers a library of free research apps called Gadgets. Although Gadgets come in a wide range of categories—from literature search and discovery to lab and time-management to in silico tools for analyzing DNA and RNA—they are designed with a single purpose in mind: to help researchers at biotech and pharmaceutical companies save time and money.
Gadgets are created by researchers, for researchers. In this blog series, we hope to give you a glimpse into what it means to be part of the Gadget Squad—our talented team of software developers and research scientists.
A Conversation with Mario Treviño
Last month we introduced you to Dr. Karina Chavez. This month, we managed to steal a few minutes of time from another Gadgeteer: Mario Treviño.
Here’s a transcript of our interview:
Q: What is your research and educational background?
MT: During my undergrad years in Genome Biotechnology, I rotated at different labs and worked in different areas, including Bioinformatics, Computational Biophysics, and Nanomaterials. That experience gave me the opportunity to explore some exciting research fields—from gene expression analysis and protein-protein interactions, to nanomaterials synthesis and characterization. I then went on to study for a master’s degree in Nanotechnology, where I focused more on the interactions between microorganisms and nanomaterials.
Q: Tell us a bit about your research projects. Have you published any papers?
MT: Although my interests have always been very diverse, most of the research I have conducted is related to nanomaterials. So far, I have co-authored four publications: two on the properties of lead chalcogenide-based nanomaterials, and the remaining two on the antimicrobial properties of silver/transition metals combinations, and nanoparticles.
I have worked on some industry R&D projects as well, both as a junior researcher, and later as an advisor. Most of these projects involved statistical design of experiments, materials characterization, and a lot of data analysis.
Note: Here are the links to Mario’s co-authored papers. Enjoy!
Q: What is your role here at Reprints Desk?
MT: I do a variety of things. I work on the Gadget Squad as a Product Owner of some Gadgets; I assist developers with scientific computing methods that are specific to domains like chemistry, bioinformatics, and statistics; I participate in brainstorming sessions, from which new Gadgets are envisioned; and at times, I collaborate with other teams, including Marketing, Sales, and Operations.
Q: How long have you been working at Reprints Desk?
MT: Three really exciting years!
Q: What is your favorite part about working for Reprints Desk?
MT: First of all, I feel very fortunate to be working on a great product that is continuously evolving. Second, I’m a curious person by nature, and my role at Reprints Desk feeds that curiosity by allowing me to learn new things every day from talented people working in many different areas.
Q: What are some of the Gadgets you have been involved in creating?
MT: I’ve been involved with most of them. However, I particularly like working on small calculators and statistics-related Gadgets, such as the DGE Data Normalizer.
Q: What kind of software tools did you use back when you were researching?
MT: It varied depending on the stage of my research, but generally I spent a lot of time using tools from NCBI and PubChem.
Q: Are there any particular Gadgets you wish you had when you were working on your research projects?
Q: What kind of feedback would you and the Gadgeteers like to get on the Gadgets?
MT: We would like to know which features people would like to see in existing or new Gadgets. We know that we can build pretty much anything, and we’re looking forward to solving any new challenges the community can suggest! It is easy to give feedback – simply use the Gadget Requester to give your feedback on Gadgets or to suggest new features.
Q: Can you share any insights into future Gadgets?
MT: So far, we have built a proof-of-concept based on the day-to-day use cases for life sciences and chemistry. Now, we are focusing on specific problems that involve more complexity. For instance we are working on comprehensive discovery solutions for researchers.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
MT: I would like to encourage readers to test out some of the Gadgets and provide us with feedback. After all, Gadgets are free to use and can really help make researchers’ lives easier. If there’s anything we can do to improve, we want to know!